iPod Designer Jonathan Ive Too Private To Deserve JonathanIve.com

from the gotta-be-more-public dept

The domain name dispute process has always been a bit of a crapshoot, as it often depends on who hears the case, but it’s still a bit strange to find out that famed Apple designer Jonathan Ive was told he does not have a right to a variety of domain names based on his name, including jonathan-ive.com, jonathanive.com, jony-ive.com and jonyive.com because (1) he had not trademarked his name and (2) because he’s a rather “private” individual:

“[Ive and Apple] do not promote [his] name as a brand or trade mark, and therefore do not use it in trade or commerce. [Ive’s] work for which he is most famous is publicly recognised and primarily attributable to Apple Inc. rather than [him],” said the ruling. “Despite having the opportunity to pursue individual endeavours outside his employment, which under certain circumstances might be branded under his personal name, [Ive] has made a conscious decision not to do so. In fact, [he] has actively sought to keep his personal name out of trade and commerce.”

While I’m not necessarily a fan of simply handing over domain names to folks when others beat them to the registration, it does seem odd that the main criteria that is being used is how well known the name is in commercial settings.

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Comments on “iPod Designer Jonathan Ive Too Private To Deserve JonathanIve.com”

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spencerMatthewp says:

To many people, not enough names (or domains)

I know this situation is a bit different, but if my wife wanted to register her name as a domain, spencerTracy.com And there was not already a spencerTracy.com, Why should she not be allowed to have it? If she got there first, it should be hers. It is as much her name as that other fella.

First come, First serve. If this Ives guy wants the domain names, let him cough up the dough to buy them from the owner. I’m glad to see this one go down the right way. The rich and famous (or intentionally trying to be not famous) should not be given the rights to a domain just because they are more popular.

BTW, my wife’s name is not Tracy, but it made for a great point.

Chris says:

Re: To many people, not enough names (or domains)

I agree with your sentiment only in cases where the original registrant of a domain name actually has a non-trivial plan for the domain name and the means to carry it out. Domain name squatting, on the other hand, is detestable. Sometimes I wish it cost $100 to register a domain name to dissuade squatters. But I appreciate the fact that it hasn’t cost me much to register domain names and run sites for the handful of non-profits I support with web development. The domain name squatting problem is similar to the spam problem, and a consequence of a free and open system – assholes have as much access and rights as decent folk.

DJ (profile) says:

not very creative

…and neither am I, but on a hunch I googled
“www.j-ive.com” and it doesn’t exist.

http://www.jive.com does, but then that harkens back to the subject of this post.

If I’m not very creative and I found one that Mr. Ive could use, why isn’t a freakin designer not creative enough to come up with a domain name?? Sounds like 3-year-old sandbox tactics to me.

Rogers Cadenhead (user link) says:

WIPO Favors Domain Name Owners

If you read the decisions in domain name arbitration cases, as I had to do when my right to wargames.com was challenged by MGM Studios, you learn that WIPO arbitrators favor domain name owners and the National Arbitration Forum favors trademark holders. It’s tougher to win a domain-name challenge with WIPO.

There’s no provision in the UDRP that asserts that a person owns the right to his own name. People in Jonathan Ive’s position have to show that they’re attempting to make commercial gain off their own name. From the sounds of things, Ive is publicity averse and does not self-market himself at all. So it was a hard case for him to win.

Frosty840 says:

I can’t see why anyone would favour the rights of one particular Jon Ive over the rights of any and all other Jon Ives to own Jon-Ive-Related domain names.
If the guy isn’t using “Jon Ive” as a commercial label, why should he, out of all the other Jon Ives, however many there be, be given preference on the domain name?
Should he get ALL the Jon-Ive-related domain names just because he works for Apple?

Seems like a completely correct decision to me.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I can’t see why anyone would favour the rights of one particular Jon Ive over the rights of any and all other Jon Ives to own Jon-Ive-Related domain names.

Well, to be fair, the guy who bought it was not a Jonathan Ive, and was using the site to post stuff about the Jonathan Ive we’re talking about here.

If it were owned by another Jonathan Ive then I’d totally agree with you… but this is a bit more complex.

Rogers Cadenhead (user link) says:

There's a Catch 22

Well, to be fair, the guy who bought it was not a Jonathan Ive, and was using the site to post stuff about the Jonathan Ive we’re talking about here. If it were owned by another Jonathan Ive then I’d totally agree with you… but this is a bit more complex.

True, but there’s a catch 22 here. If Jonathan Ive is famous enough to deserve jonathanive.com in a domain-name arbitration, he’s famous enough that someone else can publish a site about him without his participation or consent at jonathanive.com.

Harry Jones, the publisher of the fan site at jonathanive.com, is serving a similar role to that of a biographer writing a book about Ive.

Jones has been running his site since 2004, so he also has the concept of laches working in his favor.

ikegami says:

Person's website = their name?

I’m sure you’ve guessed a company’s web site by typing in their name as a url, but have you ever guessed a person’s official site by converting their name into an url? I bet you’ve always used a search engine.

If Jonathan Ive wants to create an official site, I’m sure it’ll climb the search engine ranks very fast.

The concept that only one entity has a right to a domain name is broken from the start. Trademarks aren’t unique across all industries and markets. And neither are people’s names. We need to get used to the idea that a domain isn’t necessarily owned by the first entity that pops into our head.

That also mean we should take away domains away from people simply because their name happens to also be a trademark as in the Nissan case. An established site (for some definition of established) should be able to keep its domain.

Namdnal Siroj says:

The point is not that Ive wants to use the domain for his own professional activities. He just doesn’t want his name being used in someone elses domain, in a site about him.
I think Ive should be able to decide for himself what he is and isn’t associated with, and this site could easily be mistaken for Ive’s.
Also, Jones runs ads on the site, which clouds matters for me as he is apparently using Ive’s name to (try and) make a profit.

I also think it’s surprising that Ive himself didn’t own the domain. The work he does suggests that he (or his employer) would have been able to buy the domain before 2004.

But, from a more human point of view, I find it hard to understand someone who calls himself a big fan, but isn’t willing to do something fairly simple for Ive.
So, Jones must have some other interest. Maybe ad-income or a chance to settle, maybe just pride.

I tried to comment on this case on Jones’ site, but apparently he doesn’s allow negative comments…

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